The Pine Street block party, which is expected to be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Nov. 7, is aimed at rebuilding relationships among long-term homeowners, renters and landlords, said Megan Bahr, a resident and coordinator of the party.
Bahr said residents began to consider a block party as a community-building event after a neighborhood dispute this summer.
But landlord Armin Leith voiced speculation Monday about the motives behind the party.
"I own property on Pine Street and do not know about the Pine Street Homeowner's Committee," Leith said. "I think the Pine Street people need to start at their houses with building community. I don't think the interest in having a block party where everyone comes together is genuine."
Residents complained to the aldermen in July because some claimed an influx of student tenants was disrupting the atmosphere of the neighborhood. Consequently, the aldermen agreed to examine ways to keep the neighborhood quiet.
After tensions mounted this summer, Bahr said she hopes residents can put the past behind them and use the block party as a chance to build neighborhood relations.
"Our dispute has never been with the tenants, it's been with the landlord or property owner," Bahr said.
But Leith said the party seems contradictory because residents' previous complaints included claims that his student tenants had a tendency to party.
"If they have a party and it gets out of hand, who's going to be blamed?" Leith asked. "I guarantee you it's the students."
But Bahr said she called each of the landowners personally to invite them to the get-together. "This is a wonderful community here on Pine Street," she said. "It is a good place to raise kids."
Bahr said the homeowner's committee plans to host a potluck dinner and invite musicians to come and play during the party. Bahr said committee members even plan to rent an inflatable "moonwalk" for children.
But Leith said he doesn't think Pine Street is the place for a block party. "I am not opposed to block parties, but a place where people cannot speak amicably on the street is not a place to have a block party," Leith said. "It's a no-win situation, in my opinion."
But Alderman Joal Broun said she would be surprised if anyone objected to the issue.
But Leith expressed skepticism about the purpose of the party. "All I know is a date, a time and that I'm invited, but it's a pretty long street to have a party on." Leith said.
"This is an issue for the aldermen to decide."
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